Who discovered sodium and chlorine?
B 1778 in the small English town the boy who played a big role in the history of chemistry and life of society in general was born. He was called Gemfri Davy`s .
During study at school at Gemfri any outstanding abilities to science or art were not observed. He was an ordinary boy, not the genius. After death of the father Gemfri went to work as the assistant to the druggist to support a family. For days on end it had to mix liquids, to pound powders and to razvlivat mixtures. But, strangely enough, the young man liked this occupation, and he often complained about how it took out not enough knowledge from school.
And then he undertakes self-education, and spends in a drugstore after its closing much time. Books become for it the friends opening the amazing and low-studied world of chemistry. Its experiences - it is harder and harder. He studies solutions, extracts gases.
For the short term of Gemfri Davy wins respect and recognition in a scientific circle of chemists. In 22 years he holds a position of the assistant to professor of chemistry in the London royal institute where he completely devotes himself to favourite science.
At the beginning of the 19th century 15 chemical elements were known, and opening everything continued. Each several years scientific community shook opening. Often there were also mistakes when took complex substance for chemical element. Gemfri Davy came to science when one of the greatest opening was made: scientists created the first device giving electric current. People did not know yet what huge application will be found for itself by the invisible power of electricity.
Gemfri Davy was one of the first who understood: electric current can help the chemist. The first it “ victims “ there were substances known under the name “ caustic " alkalis;. Externally pieces of alkali are similar to refined sugar. Store them in densely corked banks to protect from air and moisture. If to take such piece in hand, skin will instantly redden and will inflame. And if alkali gets on clothes - the hole is inevitable.
Having decided to investigate caustic alkalis, the scientist assembled several electric accumulators and connected them together that the battery of huge power turned out. Davy wanted to bring down all power of electricity on alkali and to understand of what elements it consists. It lowers two conducting in alkali solution - and liquid began to seethe, in it bubbles (oxygen and hydrogen of which water consists) began to appear. And alkali? Where its components? Long time of attempt of the scientist were unsuccessful.
Davy took solutions of alkali of different concentration, dry alkalis. Business seemed hopeless, but he drove doubts away and worked even more persistently. After a set of experiences and sleepless nights in search of Gemfri`s answer the thought comes to mind that alkali has to be not dry, but slightly damp. The patience and persistence of the scientist were rewarded by a magnificent show: alkali began to melt, and small metal balls jumped out of it.
The first minute they seemed similar to mercury, but then blew up or became covered by a white raid and lost the metal gloss. So in alkali new metal about which existence still none of a scientific world and suspected was discovered. But with this metal a lot more efforts were necessary, there was a hard task - how to keep it to study properties. Whimsical metal deprived of Davy of rest: he did not want to live neither on air, nor in water, nor in alcohol, nor in acid. But … who looks for, that will always find, and Davy found for the “ favourite “ convenient “ apartment “: it placed it in bank with kerosene.
I think, you already guessed that Davy released sodium from alkali . It`s true. Later scientists found it in soda, table salt. It is silvery metal which does not sink in water, and floats on its surface. Melts at very low temperature. For comparison: fusible tin needs temperature of 232 degrees, and to sodium - 98.
Softness of sodium is surprising: it is freely knifed. The most insignificant presence of air or water instantly transforms sodium beyond recognition. It attaches to itself(himself) atoms of other elements and turns into complex substance. In the nature there are a lot of substances containing sodium. In water of streams, lakes, rivers, seas and oceans sodium is in a type of salts. One of them - boiled - it is constant with us on a dining table.
But who the neighbor of sodium in table salt what element is connected with it in white crystals? History of this element is also connected with a name of Gemfri Davy. But we will not run forward. Let`s go in those days when the chemistry was not the exact science and set before itself the purpose to find mysterious “ life elixir “ by means of which it would be possible to cure any diseases, to return youth. And in that dark time interesting experiments were put and tremendous discoveries were made.
So the scientist Bazily Valentinus, calcinating table salt with a copper vitriol and alum, received new, to nobody the known substance. This substance had an appearance of a heavy white smoke with a pungent, caustic smell. From it tickled in a throat. The researcher collected a smoke in a glass large bottle and added to it water. Transparent, colourless liquid with burning, sour taste turned out. Valentinus gives it the name: sour alcohol.
Later, in the middle of the 17th century, substance received the name “ hydrochloric " alcohol; as it was received from salt. Only in the 18th century scientists understood that it is not alcohol, but acid. One it called salt, and others gave the beautiful name “ muriyevy “. It was supposed that it contains to nobody the known element of muriya. And here the pursuit for muriy began.
Scientists choked in vapors of suffocating acid, burned hands. Karl Sheele was one of researchers of muriyevy acid. The young scientist in 1774 in one of experiences extracted gas from acid is yellow - green color. Properties of gas were surprising: it corroded metals, forming salts. Even “ noble “ metals - gold and silver - could not resist it.
If it is acid, then in it there has to be an oxygen, all known acids surely contained it. All efforts of researchers were directed to finding in is yellow - green gas oxygen and that mysterious element of muriya which still was not found.
Became interested in new gas and Gemfri Davy. Having applied all methods of the chemical analysis known to it, Davy decided to report about results of the work. It occurred on November 15, 1810. Gemfri Davy got into dispute with the colleagues also declared that in is yellow - green gas there are no oxygen traces also. There is in it and no other foreign substance. This gas does not give in to any decomposition. It was decided to strike it off the list of acids and to consider as simple substance, chemical element. The name chlorine corresponds to its green coloring (on - Greek “ hloros “ means “ green “).
Such is history of discovery of sodium and chlorine - two elements making a white crystal of salt. They are absolutely different, but their union gives to the world tremendous substance - sodium chloride.